The Federal Government on Sunday said it is working “silently” towards finding a lasting solution to the incessant attacks allegedly being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen across many states.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this during a special prayer for the stability of the nation by an Islamic group, Saadatul Abadiyyah Organisation of Nigeria. Mr. Mohammed was also honoured as the Grand Patron of the group at the event held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital.
The Minister said President Muhammadu Buhari has also set up a panel of inquiry into the recent attacks while the effects of the silent efforts would soon be felt by Nigerians.
“The President did speak immediately these things happened, to the extent of setting up a panel of enquiry. But the government is going to do more than that.
“These communal clashes are very delicate issues, very emotional and what the government is doing is working very silently to ensure that people who used to live together before without any conflict will go back to that. In few weeks from now, we will begin to see the result of that,” he said.
Clashes by herdsmen, mainly Fulanis, and farmers from their host communities have been reported in several states including Benue, Plateau, and Taraba. President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for his handling of the crises which have caused the death of hundreds of people.
Mr. Mohammed also assured that the plan by the Federal Government to generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity by 2019 is very feasible. He said the activities of violent agitators have not been helpful towards finding a lasting solution to the power problem.
The Minister, who revealed that about five gas pipelines have been completed, also stated that Nigeria has the capacity to generate enough power for its citizenry. He said the electricity situation was made worse by the activities of saboteurs who damaged pipelines providing gas to the power generating plants.
He appealed to Nigerians to be patriotic and desist from attacking facilities. He added that as soon as gas platforms are repaired, the country will have the capacity to distribute as much as 5,000 megawatts.
“It is very feasible, you see actually the capacity to generate, we don’t have any problems at all. Actually by February 2nd this year, we were able to generate and transmit 5, 074 megawatts of power. But we are in this situation today mainly because of the attacks on the export lines.
“What we have now is that we have the capacity to generate but we don’t have enough gas. And as soon as these platforms are repaired, we will be able to generate and transmit more than 5, 000 megawatts, even at 10, 000 megawatts at 2019, its quite feasible.
“There are about five other pipeline projects that have been completed now and that is Ajimosho, there is Omotosho, there’s one in Sapele and the combined capacity of the four projects is well over 2, 300. But because of lack of gas, we are generating less than 5000 megawatts.
The Minister restated the government’s plea that Nigerians be patient during the current economic crisis in the country.
“My message to Nigerians is that we feel keenly their pains, we empathize with them and we are doing everything to ensure the pain is remedied.